USB Flash Drive
USB flash drives are often used for the same purposes as floppy disks
were. They are smaller, faster, have incomparably more capacity, and are
more durable and dependable. Until approximately 2005, many desktop and
laptop computers used floppy disk drives, but most of the latest equipment
has abandoned floppy disk drives in favor of USB ports.
Flash memory and USB card drives combines a number of older technologies,
with lower cost, lower power consumption and small size made possible
by recent advances in microprocessor technology. The memory storage used
earlier EPROM and EEPROM technologies. There limitation of capacity and
both reading and writing speeds were very low, required complex high-voltage
drive circuitry, and could only be re-written after erasing the entire
contents of the chip.
Wikipedia's footnotes on the same USB flash drive page state: USB flash
drives allow reading, writing, and erasing of data, with some allowing
1 million write/erase cycles in each cell of memory: if 100 uses per day,
1 million cycles could span 10,000 days or over 27 years. Some devices
level the usage by auto-shifting activity to underused sections of memory.
While there are some variations in flash memory cells, most likely some
are referring to the older way of describing read/write which related
to any particular cell. A flash device can then rotate which memory cells
are written to and redirect the "read stream" of data to good cells in
the event some cells become malfunctioned.
And, in terms of flash drive death flash drive death, it means that flash
drive can no longer write data to it, but it can still read data.
Most of us have heard that flash drives can only preserve data for so
long even without a couple million read/writes.
Though flash drives are excellent for less than 10 years short term archival
(like the floppy disks of yesterday or even magnetic tapes, CDs, and DVDs),
they are limited in their endurance. As with any other form of technology,
it is safer to upgrade to larger, newer devices after a while. it's easy
to do that as the memory capacity for flash drives continues to increase
and higher capacity drives become more affordable. If you have important
data, store it on the latest technology and regularly upgrade to be sure
you'll be able to have continued access as your technology changes. Flash
drives are becoming better and better with longer lifetimes and increased
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